Top Wine Stories: Pricing or Shipping or…

Our 2004 American Wine Writer Survey has been in demand here at the PR firm. I was asked recently if a “Survey-Lite” could be created from the full version. Sure, I said, thinking that’ll be easy. Two hours later…..

Anyway, in the course of editing it I come across one of those nifty graphs we created that made me stop and think:

“What Wine Issue Will Most Dominate the mainstream Media Over The Next Five Years”

This was asked of wine writers across the country. At the time it was asked the Supreme Court had not announced it would be hearing the direct Shipping Case. Nevertheless, look at these responses:

40%…Wine & Health
35%…Direct Shipping
15%…Consolidation of Wineries
9%…New Vineyard Development
8%…New Products

The survey was conducted in May. It’s no coincidence that “Pricing” comes out ahead. The early part of this year was filled with news stories about 2-Buck Chuck. What strikes me most is that rather than looking forward, it appears that the respondents are looking backward. If this same question were asked today, you can bet that “Direct Shipping” would be identified by more than 50% of respondents. The lesson? Beware of the backstory when evaluating forward-looking surveys.

So, if it’s not going to be pricing that will be the most often reported wine story in the near future, what will be?

Let me think about it…

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